CEO Insider

Watch out for the New Apple Watch Sucking Your Time

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc

If you thought you already were under bombardment from communication and information, think again. The release of Apple’s new Watch signifies the dawn of what I call “Communication
Overload 2.0.”

The world changed in 2008 with the release of Apple’s iPhone. When that occurred, our world transformed. We now had a smartphone in our pocket or purse and the information onslaught

This constant bombardment in the information overloaded 21st Century comes down to literally being attacked by one of these primary methods of communication: Email, Text, Phone,
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Notifications and Announcements on our devices are the machine gun bullets that spray constantly in our direction.

These communication methods are all rivers of information flow and each one can be deadly if allowed to flow unrestricted.

Managing Time now is the #1 objective to balance in not just your business, but entire life. The pervasiveness and constant messaging that our information world wields demands new
strategies and tactics to survive.

But with the release of Apple’s Watch, our world of Notifications and Announcements will grow exponentially. Instead of our smartphone in our pockets or purses, we now wear our
communication device.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said it best during the marketing launch presentation of the watch. He said that the Apple Watch is “not just with you, it’s on you.” While this might in the natural seem
cool or even desirable, I caution you on thinking that way.

With this new “wearable”, the information and communication bombardment is on your wrist, in your face, not your pocket.

One of my main goals with clients is to help them redesign their work and life balance. This stops and starts with learning to manage Time as well as these communication channels. Technology is a huge part of making your life easier and more efficient. But it comes down to knowing HOW to use technology.

I love how Technology can AFFECT our world. But here’s the mandate: it has to be effective, not just efficient.

Here’s an example.

You ever talk to say your Grandmother about the washing machine? They came out with this great new device to wash clothes and supposedly save all this time. Everyone was so excited.
But, do you really see people having more time because of the washing machine?

The current 21st equivalent of the washing machine could be Facebook. Here’s a “tool” that supposedly makes our life better, make us more connected. And, it REALLY does. But if you don’t know how to use it, especially for business, a “tool” like Facebook (or LinkedIn or Twitter) can suck more time than you can imagine. And, our world in 2015 is like that in so many places. Apps now are a “burden” not a blessing. This “Cloud” thing confuses most people and takes more of their time.

What’s the common theme here? A new tool seems like it provides more time but in reality, it doesn’t.

My passion is finding and USING the RIGHT technology to make your life not only more efficient but effective. Because as I’ve said, it’s not all about efficiency. You can be focused on the smallest, most meaningless task in your business and really bust it out and be super efficient in getting it done but if you didn’t really need to do the task or it could have been delegated, being
efficient was still a waste of time. Follow that?

Here’s another little story. This business had a problem with their main network server. They couldn’t figure it out. Their IT Director spent hours and hours trying to fix it. They called in
consultant after consultant to fix it but it still wouldn’t work. Finally, they got a recommendation about the so-called “IT Fixit Master.” This older guy came in, ran his hands all over the server,
went over to his toolbox and snatched out a hammer. He walked back over to the server, held his finger in one place to mark a spot, and then raised his hammer, moved his finger out of the
way and proceeded to bash the server. The entire piece of hardware sprung to life. The Fixit Master stood up, wrote out an invoice for $25,000 and handed it over. The CFO looked at the
man and said “that’s a ton of money for only 5 minutes and hitting the machine with a hammer.” The Fixit Master didn’t blink an eye. He smiled and said, “it’s $1 for the hammer hit and $24,999
to know where to hit it.”

The moral of the story is that you have to know HOW to use your tools. Technology is amazing. I read somewhere that our iPhones have more power in them than President Bill Clinton had at
his disposal when he was the most powerful man in the free world in 1994. But that was 1994, not potential information overloaded 2015.

I think this new Apple Watch is amazing. But you have to know HOW to use it. If you don’t have a PLAN on how you’ll use the Watch, you’re going to be in more trouble that you can imagine.

If that happens, Cook’s marketing line could become your nightmare: Now you have your information overload “on you.”


Here’s a few Actionable suggestions that can help you plan on HOW to use this new tool or even bring you immediate relief from existing information overload:

• Pick a Preferred Communication Method. Then, STOP using the others for 30 days. If that is too much to ask, try 1 week. Or, even 1 day.
• Stop the use of Text Messaging for ALL Business communication for 1 month, or at least 1 week.
• Set Boundaries on your preferred communication method. Change your voicemail or email response telling them you’re only available between a set period of time. And, you’ll get back
to them within another defined period of time (I like 24 or 48 hours for a response.) Learn to set the expectation of how quickly you’ll respond.
• If you purchase a new Apple Watch, go slow with setting up the NOTIFICATIONS. Test “light”settings for 1 week. Then, if you can handle that level of announcements and notifications on
your wrist, increase those settings. If it turns out to be too much, back it off for 1 week andadjust.

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Pat Mixon
Pat Mixon is a Time & Efficiency Expert and the founder of Executive Training Camp, the world’s premier place for 21st Century training, strategies, and systems that allow Manager, Executives, and Business Owners to take their game to the next level. Pat’s in the business of giving people BACK THEIR TIME. Pat writes about and helps individuals learn new systems and strategies around Time Management, Delegation, Email Management, To Do Lists, Meeting Management, Making Decisions, and Managing/Working Remotely and more. He is also managing partner at The Infrastructure Company. Visit his website at: ExecTrainingCamp.com and his firm’s consulting website for finance, accounting, operations and technology at TheInfrastructureCompany.com.
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